Nature provided our eyes with tears to wash away irritants, lubricate the lids, and to keep our cornea moist. Sometimes, though, the glands under the upper lids reduce their production of tears from normal aging. In addition, certain medications such as antihistamines, oral contraceptives, or antidepressants can reduce the amount of tear production. Contact lenses also may cause the eyes to feel more dry. Injury to the cornea or eyelids can also affect normal tear production.
The most common signs and symptoms of dry eyes include dry, itchy, scratchy and generally uncomfortable feeling eyes. Also you may experience excessive tearing. This is a natural reflex to comfort the dry eye. Dry eyes left untreated, can harm your eyes. Excessive dry eye can damage tissue and possibly scar the cornea of your eye, impairing vision.
One of the most important pieces we look at for dry eye are the eyelids. They contain many of the glands that contribute to keeping the eye comfortable. By producing key tear components they help fend off dry eye symptoms and keep the surface of the eye healthy. Unfortunately, we lose glands over time at an accelerated rate if dry eye is not treated. Research has shown that eyelid inflammation is a key component for many dry eye sufferers. This inflammation may be the result of a condition closely related to dry eyes, blepharitis.
This understanding also presents an avenue of intervention to help treat dry eyes better. We are beginning to understand how, like the human gut, a microbe war is at the root of the problem in many cases. The process of developing new strategies to influence that war will hopefully let us promote healthier glands and prevent the loss of them over time. Most importantly, it should make eyes less dry and more comfortable.
Dry Eye Diagnosis
Dry eyes are a very common problem, especially in the winter season. And although some reports show dry eye problems affect up to 60 percent of individuals, seeing and diagnosing dry eyes in an eye exam can be very difficult. The problem lies with the tears. The tear film can be operating properly in a number of ways but not working in other ways. So observing the tear film under magnification tells me a limited amount of information. Now with newer camera and computer combination devices that can track, quantify and categorized the type and amount of tear film problems, dry eyes are becoming easier to diagnose and treat.
So what does the Keratograph measure? Tear break up time: the amount of time the tear film can stay stable between blinks. Eye surface integrity: the areas of the eye that are irritated due to dryness. Oil layer: analyzes the oil layer of the tear film. Oil glands: shows whether or not these glands are producing tear components. Tear viscosity: those with dry eye tend to have thinner, more watery tears. Tear volume: those with dry eyes tend to have a thin tear film. With this additional information and pairing it with the symptoms a patient is having, dry eyes can be treated more precisely and hopefully will bring relief to those with this disease.
Prairie Vision Center is excited about the addition of the Keratograph for dry eye testing. It is a unique device that can quantify dry eye and ocular surface problems and has already become a valuable tool to manage dry eyes and other eye comfort issues.
Osmolarity: What The Numbers Reveal
TearLab adds data to a doctor’s insight into dry eye syndrome by guiding the diagnosis and management of the ocular surface. Dry eye lab testing allows doctors to have an objective measure to track treatment progress. The test is painless and takes just a few seconds.
BlephEx® Dry Eye Treatment
BlephEx® … The First and Only Doctor Treatment for Dry Eye and Blepharitis
Blepharitis is a common eyelid condition that leads to irritated, itchy eyes, eyelids and can be a precursor to dry eye syndrome. In the past doctors have recommended a home eyelid hygiene regimen to combat this ongoing condition. Now BlephEx, an in office treatment for blepharitis, is revolutionizing the treatment of this condition.
- Over 50% of all patients suffer from some type of dry eye and blepharitis symptoms.
- BlephEx® is a new, in-office procedure that allows your doctor to take an active role in treating dry eye and blepharitis.
- BlephEx® removes excess bacteria, biofilm and bacterial toxins, the main causes of inflammatory dry eye and lid disease.
- With regular treatments, patients finally enjoy a life free from the chronic and irritating symptoms associated with dry eye and blepharitis.
- The BlephEx® treatment is well tolerated and only takes a few minutes to perform.
- BlephEx® can save the patient hundreds of dollars in the costs of prescription drops and artificial tears.
- See us at Prairie Vision Center for this latest breakthrough in eye care technology and dry eye treatment.
A New Treatment for Dry Eyes
Dry eye syndrome is frustrating condition for millions of Americans. And while we have some good treatments for the condition, the main treatment for the condition remains the instillation of eye drops referred to as artificial tears. Now a new take on a traditional dry eye treatment has become available for patients with uncomfortable eyes that can allow them to get away from the drops.
The procedure involves heating the eyelids to 108 degrees for a period of eight to twelve minutes. It is typically repeated two to three times and may provide significantly improved dry eye symptoms for many months. But what is this treatment doing to help dry eye? The answer lies deep within the eyelid.
The meibomian glands lie in the cartilage plate in the eyelid. These glands produce and oil like substance that is critical for a healthy tear film. For reasons that are poorly understood, the vast majority of dry eye suffers have eyelids that are caught in an endless cycle of localized inflammation and gland dysfunction that exacerbates or even causes the dry eye problems. Through these dysfunctional processes the components of the glands become thick and immobile and eventually the glands shut down and become dormant. The new eye warming procedure is designed to liquefy the gland contents and reactivate the production of tears for more comfortable eyes.
A value-based solution:
- Drug Free
- Risk Free
- 98% patient satisfaction
The temperature controlled ocular message results in tear film enhancement.